To receive free resources to celebrate LCMS Armed Forces Ministry on Sunday, May 22, all congregations must place new orders by Feb. 18. This year’s theme is based on Ps. 6:3, “How long, O Lord?”
“For nearly ten years now our military men and women have been serving in Iraq and Afghanistan,” writes Chaplain Mark Schreiber, director of the Synod’s Ministry to the Armed Forces, in the bulletin insert. “The multiple deployments and training demands take their toll on the resiliency of our forces, including our chaplains and their families. King David’s lament in Psalm 6 could easily come from the lips of any soldier, sailor, airman, Marine or Coast Guardsman.”
Schreiber notes that 80 to 90 percent of LCMS chaplains have been separated from their families to provide critical ministry in hostile fire regions, some for two or three times. “They, too, ask, as did King David, ‘How long?'” said Schreiber.
The website for ordering bulletin inserts in quantities of 50, a suggested sermon and responsive prayers is www.lcms.org/?16277. Items will be mailed in April.
Also available on the Ministry to the Armed Forces website (www.lcms.org/?1224) is a form to register congregation members who are in the active military for the Synod’s “Ministry-by-Mail” program. Servicemen and women receive materials in an initial packet when they are registered, and then regularly receive copies of Portals of Prayer, as long as the ministry is provided with a current address.
Congregations are encouraged to ask their members who are veterans to come in uniform to worship on May 22 and include a special recognition ceremony for them and their family members. Also, a military chaplain may be invited to speak for the occasion.
“If your congregation chooses to celebrate Armed Forces Sunday on a day other than May 22, appropriate days could include a Sunday close to Memorial Day, Independence Day or Veterans Day,” Schreiber added. Resources will be sent closer to those dates.
“Armed Forces Sunday, as celebrated by our church body today, gives every member time and occasion to reflect upon the dedicated service and tremendous sacrifice of all veterans in all wars who have helped to secure our place as a nation, by the grace of God,” Schreiber said.
To locate a chaplain in your area or for more information about Armed Forces Sunday resources, call 800-433-3954, ext. 1337, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted Jan. 26, 2011